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Americans Identify Immigration as Top Issue

immigration
Residence permit | Image by Kseniya Lanzarote/Shutterstock

Immigration has topped inflation as the most important issue to Americans, according to a new poll. 

The results of a poll from Harvard CAPS-Harris released this week revealed that 35% of respondents considered immigration as their top concern. This was a 7% increase from the last poll conducted by the pollster in December.

Inflation still stood in second place as the most important issue for 32% of respondents, followed by jobs and the economy at 25%. 

December saw a record total of unlawful migrant encounters at more than 300,000, as The Dallas Express reported. President Joe Biden’s approval rating on immigration shrunk to 35% in the Harvard CAPS-Harris poll compared to 38% the month prior.

Half of Republican respondents listed immigration as their top concern, along with 18% of Democrats. The issue topped the list of priorities for independents at 36%. 

A priority of immigration from voters come November would fare well with former President Donald Trump, who is favored to win the GOP primary and advance to a rematch against Biden. The poll showed Trump 7% ahead of Biden in a head-to-head matchup. Respondents had a 48% favorability rating for Trump and 41% favorability for Biden. 

The poll found that respondents want Biden to be proactive about the border. More than two-thirds said the president should make it tougher to enter the country unlawfully, which includes half of Democrats. And more than three-fourths said the president should work with Republicans to increase border security, which includes 65% of Democrats. 

Another revelation from the poll was that a considerable share of Americans want a third candidate in the race between Trump and Biden. A majority said they would consider an “independent moderate” candidate, while another 64% said the country “needs another choice.” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. polled 18% in a hypothetical three-man race, with Trump besting Biden at 41% to 33%. 

The concerns over immigration detailed in the Harvard CAPS-Harris survey complement results from exit polls in the Iowa and New Hampshire Republican primary this month. Around 4 in 10 GOP voters in the two states ranked immigration as their top issue, as reported by The Dallas Express

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